Species List


Bronze Reishi

Ganoderma polychromum

Bronze Reishi (Ganoderma polychromum)
12cc liquid culture syringe
$15 - $25 suggested donation
"If you stand right fronting and face to face to a fact, you will see the sun glimmer on both its surfaces, as if it were a cimeter, and feel its sweet edge dividing you through the heart and marrow, and so you will happily conclude your mortal career. Be it life or death, we crave only reality." —H. D. Thoreau

A Pacific Northwest native and close cousin of the revered Reishi, G. polychromum is graceful, adaptive and vigorous. Most likely living symbiotically as an endophyte within healthy trees, it is also possibly weakly parasitic, usually only producing fruitbodies when its host begins to decline. A particularly fast-growing annual woody polypore, it forms large, cascading conks which change from cream to bronze to copper-colored with age, taking on a duller varnished finish than other members of the genus. The flesh also darkens to a deep brown with age, and is soft enough to slice with a sharp knife.

While quite common, G. polychromum is significantly less researched than its close relatives. Nonetheless, it is sure to produce many of the potent polysaccarides and other medicinal compounds which have given its Asian bretheren the nickname "Mushroom of Immortality." The mycelium produces a singularly divine, melifluous odor vaguely reminiscent of vanilla, anise and mahogany.

This specimen was cloned from a 20-30 lb. fruitbody complex emerging from the base of an ailing octogenarian maple tree. It readily produces handsome "antlers" in bags and monotubs and responds well to the same cultivation strategies used for other Reishi. Though less well-known, it shows great commercial potential as a complement to teas and medicinal mushroom blends.

Cover photo © Chris AngryOyster McKenna

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